Shanoff's W.U.C.: Don't Believe LeBron, Wade

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. Trevor Ariza, Dwyane Wade vs. Miami Heat, Shawn Marion vs. Mark Cuban, Tyler Hansbrough vs. James Harden, Mark Reynolds vs. Pablo Sandoval, Albert Pujols vs. the Home Run Derby and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: "I'll be there. Of course, I'll be there." ↵

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↵Did LeBron just commit to staying in Cleveland after 2010? Let me offer a clear answer: NO! ↵

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↵No. No. No. No. No. ↵

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↵LeBron was trying to get Trevor Ariza to commit to Cleveland for 2009. That is all. The likely reason Ariza didn't pull a Boozer on the Rockets and jump to the Cavs is, among other things, that HE DIDN'T BELEIVE LEBRON. ↵

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↵I don't either. Neither should Cavs fans. Nothing about LeBron's statements -- parsed ad nauseum over the last few years (and even more in the coming year) -- give any indication he is really interested in staying. Otherwise, he would say it unequivocally and end this will-he-or-won't-he misery for Cavs fans. ↵

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↵At least LeBron isn't the slick-talking Dwyane Wade, who is pre-emptively framing his decision not to re-sign with the Heat (as early as tomorrow) as the team's fault for not putting together a title contender around him. ↵

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↵The fact is: If LeBron and Wade really wanted to reward their loyal fans and cities, they would re-sign a long-term extension immediately. But, obviously, they are not doing that. Because they have no interest in staying. ↵

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↵Like LeBron's recruiting pitch to Ariza, everything else is just empty posturing. ↵

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↵NBA Free Agency: Shawn Marion looks headed to Dallas. Give the Mavs credit -- like only a handful of other teams, they are making a run at the title NOW, rather than maintaining some sort of fantasy of "rebuilding" for the future, which in 2009-2010 only justifies losing. ↵

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↵NBA Summer League Stars! Orlando Edition. ↵

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↵(1) Tyler Hansbrough (IND): Team-high 17 pts in OT W. ↵
↵(2) James Harden (OKC): 17 pts in W (Westbrook 22, including 16/18 FTs). ↵
↵(3) Bill Walker (BOS): Team-high 14. ↵
↵Other notable debuts: Eric Maynor (9-4-4 for Jazz). ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵
↵• Phils slam door early: 10-run 1st en route to 22. ↵

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↵• Hamilton back: But Angels pass Rangers. ↵

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↵• Final Vote Reynolds! Walk-off winner! ↵

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↵• Final Vote Sandoval! Grand slam in W! ↵

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↵• Jason Marquis can't be stopped: MLB-best 11th W. ↵

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↵• Cubs sold: But will new owners pay for a winner? ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Jarrod Washburn (CG shutout 1-hitter). ↵

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↵Final Vote Update: Wake-Up Call picks Ian Kinsler and Pablo Sandoval are the early leaders in voting. That just makes their position even more precarious, as teams with players not in the lead ramp up marketing efforts to juice voting between now and Thursday at 4 p.m., when voting ends. ↵

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↵All Star Fun: The only name you need to know in the 2009 Home Run Derby is Albert Pujols, because he's going to roll to the title. (Not that you'll see anything as amazing as Josh Hamilton from last year.) But the NL side is pretty impressive: Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. ↵

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↵SN MLB Ballpark Ranking: Fenway is No. 1, sort of obviously (although I am partial to Wrigley, which comes in at No. 3). I love that Pittsburgh's PNC Park is No. 2. Camden is 4th and SF's ATT is 5th. Here are the rest. ↵

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↵McNair Murder, Cont'd: As more rumors emerge, the only thing we really know about the McNair murder is that it has generated baseless (and irresponsible) speculation from coast to coast. ↵

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↵Heart goes out to the Mickelson family. Again. This is just very very sad, and underscores the need for everyone's support for breast cancer research and funding to support people diagnosed with it. ↵

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↵LPGA Drama: Players demand commissioner's resignation. You know things are bad when the message essentially is: "It's not the economy. It's you." ↵

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↵CBB: U-19 team rolls along, but next face Rutgers scoring machine Mike Rosario, playing for Puerto Rico, who had a jaw-dropping 54 to lead P.R. to a 1-point win over France. ↵

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↵CFB Top 100: No. 60 Illinois. It helps to have the country's most dangerous and exciting receiver in Arrelious Benn. ↵

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↵The Last Word: OK, so losing is the new winning, if you believe the buzz about Andy Roddick's almost-win against Roger Federer (note: not the same as winning), which many are hailing as the best match Roddick has ever played -- and turning his rep around from bratty underachiever to lovable underdog. ↵

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↵Next, we have the approval of Anthony Kim for nearly beating Tiger Woods at Tiger's tournament in DC this weekend. And that follows up the general approval of the Magic's "Hey-At-Least-They-Made-It-This-Far" run to the NBA Finals and the Cardinals' "Hey-Look!-It's-The-CARDS!-In-The-SUPER-BOWL!" near-miss in the Super Bowl. And that was preceded by the Rays' Cinderella run to the World Series -- they didn't win? Who cares? They ALMOST won! ↵

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↵There is one sport left where "hey, good try!" just doesn't cut it at the championship level: College football. Oklahoma's great season was RUINED by their loss to Florida, just as Ohio State's season was ruined in the two seasons before that, just as the Buckeyes ruined Miami's season in 2002. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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